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Job Seekers

Job Seeker Tools

Job Hunter's handbook

The Tertiary Education Commission New Zealand has developed a Job Hunter’s Handbook - that you download to help you identify your skills and build your own plan.   There is also an instructional video which guides you through how to use the handbook.

CVs & Cover letters

​Create a CV that will help you get a job. Your CV or resume is vital to your job search. It tells an employer what you’ve done and what you’re good at. The aim of your CV is to get you an interview.

Writing your CV - Tips:
  • Keep your CV short (1 - to 4 pages).

  • Put your best skills first, or those that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for.

  • Use simple language and short sentences.

  • Be positive and enthusiastic.

  • You don’t need to attach certificates – just list your qualifications in your CV and make sure you’ve got the documents handy to take to an interview.

  • Make it look good – no handwriting.

  • Check your spelling and grammar (get someone else to check it too).

  • Make sure you have an electronic copy handy so you can email it quickly to employers.

We’ve provided 2 types of CV templates in different formats that you can adapt. They contain information you need to include, and also some detail you may choose to tell the employer.

Issues with work history

An employer looks at your history to see if you’re suitable. If you don’t have specific experience in the job, highlight relevant skills and experience. If you have a gap in your work history, include a short sentence to say what you did and the skills you developed during that time.

You don’t have to say in your CV why a job ended. But if you’ve had lots of jobs, have been out of work for a while, or have gaps in your work history, be prepared to explain these things in an interview.

If you’re worried about how to deal with any issues, talk with a friend or family – they may be able to help.

CV Templates

1. Skills-focussed CV

  • These examples shows a skills-focussed CV. It matches your skills to the job you’re applying for. It lists your skills (both work and non-work) and then gives details of your experience and education. This approach helps if you’re applying for a different type of job than you’ve had previously, or you have gaps in your work history. It probably means you’ll need to change the CV for each application so it’s a good match for the vacancy.


2.  Work-focussed CV

  • This is a work-focussed CV. It records your jobs and training. This is a general CV and can be used for a range of positions. With this CV you show experience first and give details of work tasks. It’s good to have this type of CV when your work history matches the type of job you’re seeking.​​​

Check out:

Cover letter templates and tips

Create a cover letter that will help you get a job, giving more detail about why you're suitable for the job you're applying for. You should always send a covering letter with your CV.

Writing a cover letter - tips:
  • Be neat and tidy: if you’re sending a hard copy of your CV, print your letter on unmarked, white A4 paper.

  • Keep it short: ideally just one page.

  • Check your spelling and grammar and make sure you’ve got the correct job title and name spelling for the person you’re writing to.

  • Be professional, positive and confident.

  • Most of your letter should be in full sentences and split into paragraphs. You may wish to use bullet points to list key skills and achievements.

Your letter will probably be the first thing the employer sees, and they may decide whether to read your CV based on it. Write a tailored cover letter for each role or job lead outlining why you’re suited to that particular position.

1. Advertised job

  • Make sure you state clearly the job you're applying for, where you saw the vacancy advertised and why you're suitable for the job.

2. Organisation interest

  • Use this letter if you're approaching an organisation with your CV to ask if they have any suitable vacancies.

Applying for a job - Application form

Some employers ask you to complete an application form as well as submitting your CV as part of the job recruitment process.

Employers often use application forms to help choose people for a job. The employer can tell quite a lot about you from the way you fill out the form and what you say. If you fill out a form, usually you still also need a covering letter and CV.


  • Read everything first. Make sure you read all the questions before you start.

  • While it’s best to answer all the questions, if there are ones you prefer to answer at the interview, say this. This could be done for questions about wages, health or why you left a job.

  • Answer questions accurately and honestly. Make sure your answers match what you say in your CV.

  • If it’s a paper application form, make a rough copy first (take a photocopy, use blank paper, or use a pencil). Always print neatly or check the accuracy of your typing.

  • If there’s not enough room on the form to put all your skills, don’t cram it up. Instead, attach a sheet of paper with your answers on it.

  • Be professional. For example if you’re posting it rather than emailing or applying online, use a large envelope so you don’t have to fold your documents. Make a copy of everything you send.

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